wind farms, literally!
April 1, 2002 7:27 AM   Subscribe

wind farms, literally! (via rw :) with plenty of wind sites in the UK and ireland being developed, and with companies like vestas churning out wind turbines and GE's recent acquisition of enron wind, is wind energy beginning to take hold in the US? after all, at 3-5 cents/kilowatt-hour it's certainly competitive. (4-12 cents/kWh is typical.)
posted by kliuless (6 comments total)
Also worth checking out is the American Wind Energy Association, which includes a list of manufacturers, some Small Scale Applications, and some how-to pointers.
posted by claxton6 at 9:36 AM on April 1, 2002

Iowa has several wind farms in operation as I type this, with several more in the planning and building stages. When the whole energy crunch of last winter hit, there were a few op/ed pieces about Iowa becoming a wind farm state. It is one of the few states with a steady wind (North and South Dakota the others) and plenty of open flat farm land to build them on. A few proponents even theorized that if enough wind farms were built, the citizens of Iowa would have free electricity with enough left over to sell on the open market.

They are surreal looking looming on the skyline though.
posted by goona at 12:47 PM on April 1, 2002

Double post. (Would I make this one up?)
posted by sheauga at 4:17 PM on April 1, 2002

Windmills could become a lot more common in the USA. While a lot of mills depend on a subsidy which must be renewed regularly by congress, the Senate recently approved a measure that would require utilities to derive up to 10% of all their power generation from renewable resources by 2020. That's up from about 2% now.

Windmills are already a fairly serious affair in Europe. In fact, the global conference on wind energy is taking place this week in Paris.
posted by tdca at 5:56 PM on April 1, 2002

Wind power doesn't have to be a big project! When I lived on a boat on the Southern CA coast, which tends to get a stiff afternoon breeze, a single light wooden propeller, about 6' long, hoisted up the mast on a line, was enough to run a dorm-sized 12 volt fridge and some lights. (If we opened the fridge a lot, or stayed up late, we had to charge the batteries by running the engine.) The specific model of wind generator I used isn't manufactured at the moment, but there are plenty of others. If your neighbors don't mind the whizzing noise, it's a lot of fun. This info from DOE can help you decide if wind power is practical for you.
posted by sheauga at 7:24 PM on April 1, 2002

Do it yourselfers will want to look here, here, and here. In general, the larger the unit the more efficient it is.
posted by pekar wood at 7:36 AM on April 2, 2002

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